Friday, April 24, 2015

What I Mean to Say Is

Sometimes I talk like Penny never existed.

Sort of. I've never forgotten her, although the pain of mourning her passing has dulled. There just aren't the right phrases to explain our family in short conversations. In particular, I notice it when I'm talking about my first child, or the number of children I have, or child order. 

For example, when someone comes up to me and August at church or in the grocery store and, usually as an excuse to spend a few moments with my cute baby, they start a conversation with me. A question that naturally comes up is "Is he your first?" Or, "Is he your only child?"

I usually pause before answering this question. The fully truthful answer is "No, we had another daughter who passed away." Sometimes I'll say that, especially at church, but it leads to a longer, not very happy, conversation. Sometimes I just don't feel like getting into it. Then I'll often say "He's our only baby at home right now." It's an odd way to phrase it, though, and again might come across as evasive or confusing for someone who was just trying to make light conversation.

But what can I say? The right, short phrases don't exist in English.

How do I explain that she never felt like ours, at least not solely ours? She was a true gift from God for us to love briefly and struggle over for a lifetime. He warned us, through doctors, about her pending dramatic arrival. She flit into our lives for a short three days to change it forever. We had made a place for her, but her true home was in God's hands.

So yes, August is our first that God gave us to raise in our home. He's my firstborn son, who I love. Any of his future siblings, who we pray will be as healthy as he is, will be our second, third that fit that description. But they will be our third, fourth overall.

But August has a big baby sister, with God in heaven. He'll learn about her as he gets older. She will be a non-present member of our family always. She may have made our lives complicated, but we will always, always love her.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Peanut Butter Fiasco

So, August is allergic to peanut butter.

I was eating peanut butter off a spoon, and August leaned in and licked some off. Sneaky kid. At first I wasn't really concerned, so I just kept an eye on him because I knew peanuts can be an allergy risk for babies. No one else in our family has any peanut allergy. Sure enough, within a few minutes he developed a rash around his mouth, under his nose, on his chin. 

My hand was shaking when I called the pediatrician, who told me to head to urgent care. He was salivating more than usual, and they were concerned that it could progress into anaphylaxis. Fortunately, no swelling happened, and by the time the urgent care doctor saw him, the rash was mostly gone. They confirmed his allergy, and gave him a dose of Benadryl. 

At least he was a good sport about the whole thing.

The doctor said he might have a rash on and off for the next few days, and he broke out all over his body around bedtime. Poor boy was so itchy, but I'm trying to keep him from scratching. I wrapped him tight in a sleep sack and socks so he won't ruin his skin. He's sleeping soundly, and that's reassuring to me.

This is a scary sight for a mama.

This whole thing really shook me up, though. My big, healthy baby was breaking out in a rash and I had to take him to the doctor. He won't be able to eat peanuts, or anything produced in the same factory as peanuts, at least for several years until he can be allergy tested. That's a shame, because we make some good recipes with peanuts, and we may need to de-nut our kitchen. But mostly I'm worrying about my kid. I worry that he could relapse in the night. I'm worried about accidentally exposing him when he gets older. I'm worried about things I can't even think of yet.

The good news is that we now have Children's Benadryl in the house.

As the nurse said, "that's one way to identify an allergy." 

Please pray for us. It's been a stressful evening.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Big News for Us

We made a big decision this week... We're staying in Florida!

For nearly a year we've been thinking about moving to San Francisco. That's where my brother in law lives, and it's where the tech industry is happening. Initially, I hated the idea. But with prayer God softened my heart and we became excited about a change as a family. 

My husband went on many interviews in several cities. None of them panned out or was a good fit until this month. A startup in San Francisco began courting him, and it seemed perfect! We were prepared to up and move... Then his current company began courting him as well. It became a difficult decision between two very good choices. We were changing our minds five times a day, weighing pros and cons, trying to figure out what God wanted for us. 

I'm convinced that both decisions could have been the right decision. But, for several reasons, we chose to stay here. We're mourning the California dream right now, even though I'm convinced our choice was good. Maybe we'll reassess in a few years and end up in San Francisco. 

But for now we're happy to be close to family and friends, and to carry on with living the life we've made here. We've been in a bit of a limbo, thinking, "why do this? We could be moving in less than a month" for nearly a year. It's time to do those things we've been putting off - planting the garden, hanging pictures, replacing our mailbox, etc. it's time to dig in to life here.